In just a few hours, the Chicago Cubs will host the Miami Marlins for the first game of the best-three-play play-off series at Brigley Field. Sandy Alcantara is on the mound for a cub in the game, and this is what lineup manager David Rose has chosen for his first postseason game as manager.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
1. Ian Hep, CF.
2. Anthony Rizzo, 1b
3. Chris Bryant, 3b
4. Kyle Schwarber, LF
5. Wilson Contreras, c
6. Jason Hayward, RF
7. Javi Base, S.S.
8. Victor Karatini, D.H.
9. Jason Kipnis, 2b
As we’ve discussed, Alcantara makes a really significant lefty / right split this season, so Ross was definitely right to load on lefty:
V. LHH: .268 / .366 / .493 (.369WOBA)
V. RHH: .190 / .236 / .238 (.215 WOBA)
With Hepp, Rizo, Schwaber, Hayward, Keratini, and Kipnis starting today’s game, Marlins Wright will have to face six batsmen from the weak side of his plate. Of course, as it turned out, those nine batters are probably the closest thing to the cub. Regular Nine starters, so it all works quite seamlessly.
Relatedly, Brett has just written about the current weather in the Alcantara, Lefties and Wiggle area:
Sandy Alcantara, however, is a big-time groundball bowler: he didn’t have enough innings to qualify, but if he did, his 49.1% groundburst rate would have been 13th out of 13. Good news for a lefty-filled cubs lineup? Its groundburst rate against lefties is a paltry 27.5%. In fact, Lefty hit him fly balls with a shockingly high 45.1% clip. Don’t tell the Cubs ’batsmen so they don’t get out of their rhythm, but man, today the Cubs’ lefty batsmen have embraced it as a perfect day to hit a lot of homers.
Meanwhile on the bench, David Botte waits for his two-out, late-game, pinch-hit RBI to have a chance to improve, Billy Hamilton awaits base theft, and Nico Honor awaits to improve defense. This is a good group and their playoff march is starting today.
As always, we’ll have your full pre-gammy post near game time (1:08 whistle).